Our Monday Movement grew by leaps and bounds this past year – thanks to all of you who are making an effort to improve your personal health and the planet’s! We look forward to what 2010 will bring as the momentum continues to grow. Here’s a look back at some of 2009′s most notable Meatless Monday moments:
1 – Michael Pollan Brings Meatless Monday to Oprah
When author and food activist Michael Pollan speaks, the world takes notice. In April Pollan was invited to The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss environmentally friendly food choices. His much quoted suggestion to America was to have a Meatless Monday; just like his family.
2 – Food, Inc. Calls Us to Action
The Film Food, Inc. stirred a flurry of concern over modern food production and urged for a return to local sources and whole foods. In their May call to action, Food, Inc. cited Meatless Monday as one of the top 10 things we can do to change our food system.
3 – "The Edgy Veggie’ Brings Meatless Monday to Life
Huffington Post columnist Ellen Kanner (or, The Edgy Veggie) began writing weekly Meatless Monday columns in July. Each week, Kanner uses humor and a seasonal recipe to start discussion about the issues surrounding meat consumption.
4 – Baltimore Schools First to Go Meatless
In September, Baltimore City Public Schools became the first school district in the country to go Meatless on Monday. The Baltimore Sun praised BCPS’s actions from the beginning, noting that Meatless Mondays are an excellent way to teach children nutrition and the value of produce.
5 – Media Naysayers Boost Campaign’s Visibility
Media notables Lou Dobbs, Glen Beck and radio host Laura Ingraham joined the American Meat Institute in criticizing Meatless Monday in Baltimore’s schools. Still, nutritious school lunch choices and health education prevailed.
6 – ABC News Takes Meatless Monday to Prime Time
In October, ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson reported that Meatless Monday was a cost-effective way to teach children about nutrition and reinvigorate the school lunch program. Their report showed the value of Meatless Monday when used as part of a curriculum and helped to fuel the growing school lunch movement.
7 – The Atlantic Creates National Attention
Acclaimed cultural and literary magazine The Atlantic offered an eloquent response to growing attention surrounding Meatless Monday in Baltimore City Public Schools. The commentary in their October issue set the tone as media outlets nationwide began to question the nutritional value of school lunches.
8 – Al Gore Talks Climate Change One Monday at a Time
Gore is known as the purveyor of an inconvenient truth, but his November list of 12 actions you can take to prevent climate change is filled with simple solutions. Meatless Monday is featured on that list, since one individual’s meatless day a week can save 35,000 gallons of water and over 700 lbs. of carbon emissions each year.
9 – Kathy Freston Finds her Meatless Monday Muse
Alternet.com compiled a December top ten list of articles written by author and columnist Kathy Freston. Her Meatless Monday call to action came in at number 6, as it demonstrates both her passion for public health and the value of the occasional meatless meal.
10 – McCartney Takes Meatless Monday to EU Parliament
Sir Paul launched a meatless crusade in the UK in 2009 that culminated in a global call to action. McCartney spoke to members of the European Parliament in early December, urging them to make Mondays meatless for the health of the planet. He also read a letter from Al Gore, who agreed that Meatless Monday is an effective way to mitigate climate change.